Is anti-gay sentiment on the rise?

I’ve been getting more hassle online for being gay in the last month or so than I think I’ve had in the preceeding couple of years. Mostly I’m deleting the nasty ones, arguing with the clumsy ones and ridiculing the stupid ones, but it’s starting to get me down a bit. Core problem spot at the moment is some idiot whose IP originates inside Manchester City Council who has been posting on this post: On Belle de Jour (he really should check out his employers discrimination guidelines). But also I’ve had the arguments about my hypothetical business card, been called a faggot a lot by American teenagers and just this morning found another happy little deposit from some idiot on my last Supplementary links post. It’s all so bloody depressing… I thought we’d started to move on from this…

48 replies on “Is anti-gay sentiment on the rise?”

Try to hang on, because it can get worst than that. Here in Portugal I am constantly hearing about cases of anti-gay violence, and some of them are caused by homophobic policemen.
I got bullied at school even before I discovered I fancied boys.
And don’t forget, it’s easy for anybody to hassle on the Internet, but in a face-to-face basis the bad boys always shit in their pants.

It seems that it’s a lot more permissable to hate people for being different these days. (see also: Being foreign, Not being right-wing and, Non-worship of little lord Jesus. 🙁

I don’t mind bigots, as long as they keep it in the privacy of their own homes.
Consider me angry on your behalf.

As with a lot of things in life it is always the moronic minority who you tend to notice and who get you annoyed/depressed. Just remember the majority of folks out there are pretty decent and make up for the scumbags who aren’t. Don’t let the bastards grind you down (unless it’s me sneaking up behind you to smack you down with a rocket launcher on Halo!)

I bet the Manchester City Council idiot is subject to an Internet use policy. Harassing strangers on company time and bandwidth is taken more seriously than you might think.

Every time that I read some piece of homophobia I respond my posting up a picture of a hot guy on my weblog. Most homophobes are actually closet cases (as research by Henry Adams in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology in 1996 found: 80% of ëexclusively heterosexualí homophobic men got erections when watching videos of gay men having sex). So putting up pictures of hunks in compromising positions is likely to fuck with their heads…

Two words: Aurora medicritas… Have noticed how abismally inarticulate those people are? They obviously haven’t got a clue what they are talking about. two solutions: try and educate them by talking rationally (that would take time, lots of energy and will probably fail) or ignore them and leave them to wallow in their lovely mire.
Things might not be as bad as they seem though:
This might make you smile too:
All the best

For what it’s worth Tom – the guy who calls himself yeahright used to post numerous abusive comments on a blog I used to run…nothing homophobic, just baseless, ignorant litttle rants designed to get a rise.
As soemone once said “once I invent the machine that lets you stab someone in the neck over the internet I’ll be a rich man”.
(not that I’m saying violence is the answer..but you get the idea)

I’d say to try not to worry about it. It always seems that it’s always the assholes who speak up and harass people. But there’s plenty of the rest of us out here too. We just don’t feel the need to comment all the time. Have a good day. 🙂

All of us meet our fair share of idiots, wingnuts and loonies online – it’s the price we pay for he freedom to communicate like this, but please don’t let it get you down – there are things far more worthy of your ire than ignorant mesanthropes and their phobias.
Like Jake says, the silent majority of visitors to your site are very much on your side. The majority of straight visitors to your site will probably never mention your sexuality, because it quite simply isn’t an issue to us.
Have a nice day indeed.

I’ve always believed that you have to give permission to someone to make you feel bad. Brush off what you can with a simple “fuggit” and move on. If you let anything get you down, you’ve given in.
Woe is me, people are picking on me. I was “the nerd” in high school. Got picked on too. Bothered me for awhile until I simply realized that my outlook was controlled by my reaction.
I care very deeply what people I know and trust and love think of me. I care not a whit what random jerkoffs on the net think.

Myself being gay, you have my full sympathy: but I can’t help feeling that perhaps us on the lefty-liberal side of things expect a few too many favours, and positive bias. If we stand up for freedom of speech and expression – which is what allows us to speak and behave as we do – then surely we must extend that right consistently in all directions. I’ve read through the comments which you refer to, and, to be honest, there are similar levels of righteous indignation on both sides.
I accept that my sexuality, opinions, and choices are often offensive to others, but I still expect the right to be myself. So if others offend me from time to time, I just have to either brush it aside or engage in debate, which may or may not be constructive.
I am slightly concerned – in a more general sense – that freedom of expression is gradually being eroded, or that it is a cause that people are not so concerned about these days. Just look back last week to Jerry Springer – The Opera: if that is allowed to be broadcasted, containing as it does significantly offensive content for Christians and others, then in a free society Christian groups and other faiths should logically be allowed to broadcast religious material that cuts right to the centre of their beliefs? And don’t tell me Songs of Praise is anything but a watered-down attempt at pleasing everyone.
I am no Christian – far from it – but if we, as gay people and liberals in general, are going to argue so strongly for our own freedom of speech and expression we must surely support it in all its forms.

OK Coates, you’re ultimately rather boring so I don’t have much more to say: I’ve said it already, and you’re going off-topic over at the Belle de Jour thread. So I will just comment on the general stance and content of your last post over there. Basically, you insist on construing this in terms of ‘homosexual rights’, ie as a political agenda. I said before, how you *understand* homosexuality is not a political subject. Further, that a political agenda should not obstruct or impair a more neutral or objective understanding. Homosexuals are no better or worse than anyone else, and are entitled to the same freedoms, respect etc etc. And so what? That doesn’t mean it changes your understanding of the subject. The fact that the nazis corrupted and abused the science of genetics doesn’t mean genetics is a debased or crap subject. You seem to have an intellectual block here, based on personal subjectivity.
OK, maybe I do have a little more to say….
Personally, I have very little respect for the medical profession when they start to comment on psychological matters. They are a pharmacological, narrow-empirical institution that is notoriously deficient in these areas, in the hugely typical consulting room situation. I dont think what the “BMA” have to say about homosexuality is very interesting. I’m sure you are correct in your knowledge of the ‘average’ or typical homosexual, because you have far more experience. But to your tiresomely predictable suggestion of “repressed homosexuality”, I have this to say. First, Freud was not always correct: and its a Freudian tactic, equivalent to saying what someone says always expresses an unconscious denial. Mr Sigmund, and Mr Coates, my response is this: no. Don’t be so f****** smug and patronising. It is entirely possible that someone has a reasonable opinion, deriving from conscious thought. And additionally it is entirely possible that there are repressed and denied aspects to the average homosexual, in terms of the origin and derivation of their condition. That firstly they are not being honest, and secondly they lack psychological self-awareness.
I haven’t “freaked out” Coates. What planet are you living on? My ‘terminology’ mirrors your own tendency to splash people with flowery and emotive language, to create an effect. I have objected to the propagandist element to your posts, for which my repellence towards homosexual buggery is a good example: that it is an opinion I am entitled to, without being labelled with the hysterical term “homophobe!” – a point you apparently have the grace to now concede.
You conclude by referring to discrimination policies, etc etc, and I fail to see how that relates to what I’ve said. You describe them as “intelligent”, and I suggest that it is not intelligent to block, deny or defame reasonable thinking, on the basis of personal politics. There’s a difference between social policy and human understanding. The middle ground between the two is admittedly quite delicate and easily abused (the nazis mis-use of genetics), but that doesn’t mean it does not exist. Further, that a political agenda does not define or circumscribe the other. Which is what you tend to do. Nothing “nasty” about this Coates…try reading with a little more objectivity and being less judgemental yourself (“homophobe!!”).
Oh, and for the other “yeahright” out there (apprarently): hi!…..we seem to have the same name.

I don’t want to get dragged into this debate, and I admit my ignorance of the specific argument being discussed, but I’m going to take the risk in order to make a general point:
Of course how one understands homosexuality is a political matter: it impacts the beliefs that you teach your children and the public policies that you believe should be pursued. It is of course possible that you are engaging in a Rawlsian debate about the ability of an individual to act in accordance with rationally-accepted goals in public, while holding intolerant views in private; but I am assuming that you, like most people, act on your personally held beliefs.
In this case, your belief that homosexual acts are ‘repellant’ is no more to be tolerated than the belief that women are inferior to men, or that black people are repellant. You have no valid objective criteria for this belief, and thus you would have no justification for spreading this belief or supporting public policies predicated thereupon.

So Freud actually didn’t say that stuff about homophobia, that was another guy. And it wasn’t a hundred years ago. It was ten.
I’m confused here – basically you cite psychologists when they agree with you, but you don’t trust them when they don’t? If you don’t believe these people, then where the hell are you getting the evidence to support your conjecture that gay people lack psychological self-awareness or suffer from a disorder. I mean – if this is your personal opinion, then that’s fine – but if you’re going to decry any reasonable body of medical or psychological opinion, let’s just call it that – your opinion, no better and no worse than anyone else’s. And – as you say yourself – you have a perfect right to an opinion and you have the means to express it. There is a difference, however, between expressing it to the world (get your own bloody weblog if you want to do that) and hanging around on my site bitching about my little camp bitchings and my homosexual boy-chums or whatever it is. If I sat on your doorstep shouting about you having front-bottom sex with women all the time and how it was evidence of your mental incapacity, you could have the cops come around and remove me. It would be at the very least really bloody rude and bad behaviour, and at the worst it’s abusive.
So I’ll say it again – if you’re saying that medical and psychiatric opinions are worthless in this context, then you don’t have any authority to back up your arguments, so it’s just your opinion, in which case you are free to express it, but maybe you should think about how you could express it in a way that wasn’t so bloody rude.
Personally, of course, I don’t believe that everyone’s opinion in the world is equally right. I think they’re all entitled to have them and express them – just like I think people should be able to do what they like as long as it doesn’t stop other people doing what they like – but I think that well-organised scientific thinkers and the medical profession are more likely to be right than some bloke on the street. And so, in my opinion, if you want your opinion to be taken seriously then you should read some of that stuff and come to an informed position, rather than saying that they’re just all talking crap.
When you grow up gay in a place and time that doesn’t really like gay people very much – like say all-boys schools, mid-80s AIDS scare farming communities of Norfolk – then you’re normally pretty keen to work out why everyone thinks you’re disgusting and weird for something you have no control of. So I’ve read dozens of books on whether homosexuality is genetic, I’ve read Freud, I’ve read books on the incidence of homosexuality in non-human species, I’ve read political works by gay people and against gay people and looked into the religious stuff surrounding it too. In all that time I was looking for answers to explain why I was the way I was and what it meant. After much reading, I came to the conclusion that none of it really matters very much. Gay people can be happy, they don’t hurt anyone and they generally understand their sexuality to be as fixed as straight people’s. The medical opinion agrees, the psychiatric opinion agrees and increasingly the political will of the people seems to agree as well. Calling gay people names serves no function, looking to get rid of homosexuality is only relevant if the people who are gay are unhappy with it. It’s not up to other people to decide who should be forced to change if they’re not hurting anyone else.
Point is – it doesn’t matter if gay people are insane and dribbling as long as they can function in the world. I don’t care if gay people can’t tell a badger from a car as long as they’re not anywhere near a car. None of the stuff you think about gay people and their mindsets or psychology could create people who are capable of making logical arguments that are still broken or wrong.
Gay psychology is totally irrelevant if you can’t tell their faulty brains and faulty arguments from everyone else’s! So address the logic of the arguments or shut up and go home. I think I’ve been astonishingly tolerant of your posts to this site, given that you’ve called me all kinds of names. Personal abuse, or comments made with no evidence that are designed to be insulting aren’t welcome here. If you want to do that kind of stuff do it on your own site, where maybe you’d be prepared to put your name to it in public.
On the subject of which, you post from the same IP address in Manchester City Council every time you post here. If I wanted to get you into trouble, all I’d have to do is send that stuff to your employers and then all they’d have to do is work out which computer the IP address corresponds with. It would take them about ten minutes most. But I haven’t done any of that stuff – I’ve just warned you that if you continued to be abusive I’d be forced to contact them.
So let’s not pretend that you’re being victimised by me here. Whether you say what your name is out loud has no bearing on whether or not your employer could trace back your name to your words. You’re just too ashamed to have your opinions of gay people written on the internet with your name next to them. And if this little camp gay bitchy self-important boy-chum has the balls to stand up and be gay in public with his real name and his opinions and beliefs made clear to his employer and fully referencable online, then what kind of bloody wimp does that make you?

Please report him to Manchester Council. There is a chance whoever is posting homophobia may be using a open access terminal in a library, say. But, as a council worker, this person should know better than to post hate messages.

When mainstream society cannot place you into their socially acceptable slots they then cast you aside hoping you go away and not bother them again. When their perception of ‘not normal’ then challenges their notion of normal, they will vilify you to validate what they ‘think’ in their own minds, and frequently will project that thinking into (unfortunately) violence.
But then again, who says being gay (or anything else, to prove the point) is socially unacceptable?
Nothing wrong with you Tom, all your doing is challenging their notion of normal. In the long run you’ll still be gay, and really, what does that matter?

This really is so sad. Just when I thought people were getting to be more intelligent about this subject, today I was on the bus where some loud-mouthed yokel started declaring that all gays should be KILLED.
In public transportation. Loudly.
I bit my lip and didn’t say anything, merely because he started talking to someone loudly about his life and mentioned at some point that he’d been in jail.

Stephen: my personal viewpoint is not a “belief”, and certainly not in the sense in which you speak – ie, like gender-political ideas are ‘belief’. Its something I’m entitled to feel, and Coates has himself “withdrawn” his remark about that. I doubt that it’s actually rare, that only a small minority find the idea of homosexual buggery strange and unpleasant. It may be politically sensitive or whatever, but what of it? Nowhere have I stated or suggested that people should be inhibited, censored, or anything else. The reverse in fact: but as it applies to the non-homosexual world, which is as valid as anything.
Tom: I never said Freud spoke about homophobia; I referred to the Freudian idea that what you object to = what you repress. It is this Freudian psychological idea which is the basis for the repressed-homosexual argument. That is a ludicrous and patronising stance, designed to ensure that whatever the other person says, they can’t win. So basically, when someone fires up about that, its the end of the conversation because conversation is no longer possible – everything you say is turned around, to suit the other person, citing a well known phenomenon. How convenient. And as I said, psychological non-awareness also applies to homosexuals.
This is not a game, advocating Psychology V. The Homosexuals; it is entirely coherent to cite one aspect of “psychology” ( a very diverse subject), and refute another. I could very easily come up with research and documentation demonstrating how the BMA is apallingly deficient in psychological matters but frankly, I have neither the desire to ‘prove this’ nor the time. Maybe you could watch the BBC site for when this subject next arises; I guarantee that it will, in relation to the consulting room experience. If you think otherwise because what the BMA says suits your politics, well that’s up to you.
Of course this kind of debate can be legislated in terms of social policy. That doesn’t mean it’s any less annoying or offensive to be called an “idiot”, or a “ranting homophobe”. It just means that one subject is politically supported, because of cultural history. And I’ve already told you: I know you have my IP address, hence my rejection of the idea that I’m “anonymous”. What you do with that is your decision. I’m not a “victim” because you have a high profile site with full editorial control; my point is, that is not an equal playing field. I believe I said that.
‘Hanging around’ your site is a matter of interpretation I guess. As you well know it’s an open-comment blog in the public domain, and you like the attention it gets. But if you feel I’m “hanging around” in the way you describe then I guess that’s the meaning it has for you.
Newfred says:
“If we stand up for freedom of speech and expression – which is what allows us to speak and behave as we do – then surely we must extend that right consistently in all directions. I’ve read through the comments which you refer to, and, to be honest, there are similar levels of righteous indignation on both sides. I accept that my sexuality, opinions, and choices are often offensive to others, but I still expect the right to be myself.”
….and that’s a decent summary of perhaps the core of my position. Yes, I find (forgive me Fred) the idea of homosexual buggery weird and repellent. I dont think its a healthy society that makes that statement politically scandalous. Every person has all kinds of likes and dislikes. I find it offensive when certain viewpoints are classified like that, when basically they are a personal feeling to which someone is entitled. You are indeed entitled to ‘be yourself’ (Fred). I am entitled to think and feel as I wish, just like you, and object when my thoughts and feelings are controlled, judged and labelled. And they are – Coates did it himself, then retracted it, and there are further echoes of this….but really, I can’t be bothered with this any more. I am also concerned (Fred) about the issue of freedom of speech, and I also, like you, include in that topic the recent BBC and Birmingham plays. I am annoyed when I see similar thought-control, in any area of life.
I found your post (Fred) eminently balanced, because you begin from the position that everyone deserves freedom of expression etc; you don’t begin from an adverserial homosexual agenda versus the big bad world, with a reflex use of the term ‘homophobe’ against anyone with a different viewpoint.
Its quite interesting to see the responses here, and how they differ from Fred’s position. Also, at the beginning of the Belle de Jour thread, Coates questioned and undermined her blog in different ways, one of which was to suggest that a homosex-blog would generate less interest, as if there’s something ‘politically’ wrong with that. That’s quite a strange idea, and it’s an example of what I object to: when normal/acceptable/understandable aspects of society are criticised on the basis of minority partisan politics. And if the ‘tone’ of my early responses was a little vicious….well, read Tom’s opening entry at the Belle thread and you will see how the tone was established – by him. (“spitting phobias”, etc).

Except you don’t cite any references for your psychological theories at all. In the absence of any citations whatsoever, then I’m going to have to treat your theories as groundless. I currently have orthodox medical opinion on my side. Gay people have not always had this, so I’ll accept they could be wrong, but I’ll still need evidence of some kind. Until you provide evidence, then you might as well be writing for the Weekly World News for all the respect I’m going to give your opinions.
If you’re going to throw away all conversations about repression because you don’t like Freud or the way his arguments have been used out of context, then that’s your right. That the concept might be overused rhetorically is undeniable. That a study exists that states that a large percentage of men who proclaimed vigorous disgust at gay people also got erections when watching gay porn – well that’s also undeniable. The concept of repression appears to be clinically useful to people. I’m sorry if you don’t find it particularly interesting, but until you provide evidence to suggest that cases like this are innaccurate or broken, then I’m not going to believe you! You’re not convincing anyone, you’re just stating your opinions over and over. THE BURDEN OF PROOF HERE IS ON YOU.
[And to be fair, I never retracted my suggestion that you were anti-gay, because you pretty clearly are, and I’m not even sure you’d deny it.]
With regards to freedom of speech, you have it. Start your own weblog. Say what you want. Your freedom of speech will be met with arguments there as well, of course, but that’s reasonable – I’m sure you’d agree. You’re even free free to be really bloody rude, and characterise me and ‘my people’ as deviant, psychologically damaged, filthy, disgusting or whatever. But realistically I’m also free to tell you to sod off, and I’m free – given that this is my site, to ban you from it, or send e-mails to your ISPs saying that I think what you’re doing is unpleasant and abusive. Sorry if you don’t like that.
Realistically, what the hell did you expect my reaction to be? Did you expect me to realise the error of my ways, try and be straight, go to some dodgy clinic or whatever and have some try and cure me of my affliction? Because it’s not going to happen! You’re entitled to have these opinions and I’m entitled to say they’re unfounded and based on prejudice. But fundamentally, I didn’t come around your site and tell you that you were repulsive, you won’t find anything on this site that says that straight people are evil or revolting or what they do in bed creeps me out. You’re not practicing your democratic rights here, you’re just being personally abusive.
You have a whole bloody internet to piss people off in, why do you insist on coming to my bit of it if you’re not just trying to be bloody rude? And why precisely should I feel any compulsion to put up with it? I mean, it’s not like this site is the only place in the world for you to complain about this stuff.
Finally, my point with the Belle Du Jour post was that people have sex in the world and it’s not terribly interesting, and that although Belle was a pretty good writer, I thought that the attention she was getting because she appealled to middle-aged male hacks – note – not necessarily to the audiences of middle-aged male hacks. I cited an example of a gay prostitutes weblog not appealing to them, but I could have just as easily proposed a straight male prostitute / gigolo’s weblog. That you decided to go off on a rant about gay people is your own problem, not mine! It wasn’t even relevant to my original post!
And finally, if you find the idea of buggery weird and repellent then don’t bloody think about it, and see if you can avoid participating in any. Straight people have anal sex too, you know! Probably – given the disparity of numbers between gay and straight people – more anal sex in the world is had by straight people than gay! Does that creep you out? Are you repulsed by that? Or is that okay?
I find crab meat weird and repellent, but you don’t see me wandering around the internet getting on people’s case about it.

And finally, you still won’t say why you won’t post your name! You’ve apparently ‘rejected the idea that you’re anonymous’ but at the moment the only way in which we could actually put a name to your words is if I contacted your employer, which I don’t want to do. So why won’t you just tell us? Why won’t you stand up on the Googleable internet and make it clear that you find gay people weird and repellent? I’m prepared to stand up and argue against you. If this is really what you believe, what possible reason could you have for being such a wimp about saying it out loud?

ìIím not a homophobe, but I find homosexual activity repellent.î
ìIím not a chiropodist, but I do shave hard lumps of skin off peopleís feet for a living.î
Tom ñ Iíve long enjoyed your work (including, but above and beyond the plastic bag). Sorry to see youíve got pests. May the hot kettle of your mind scald away the ants of bigotry.

Er. No. Richard – repressed homosexual would mean homosexual pretending to be heterosexual (well kind of). Just like you wouldn’t say that a man in a dress was de facto a woman.
And to ‘e’ – I’ve been on the internet a long long time. I’m not unused to fuckwits. I was just commenting on how I thought the anti-gay stuff was getting worse.

Hi Tom,
I don’t know exactly what Mr Anonymous said to piss you off but he has certainly got your goat. So what if he’s anti the particular way you choose to live your life? You are the one who chose to label yourself. You didn’t have to tell anyone on the internet you were gay. You chose to do so. Stop whinging. It’s a public forum. And free speech rules. He’s entitled to his opinion, and since you have a forum. can inflict it on you. If you don’t like it, just ignore it, and delete his rants. It’s your forum – you can censor whatever you like!

Never put a comment on your weblog before, but sorry to hear you’re getting so much crap. Hell, I’d respect you even if you were a ninety percenter, but as a fellow homo, hope you have the strength to fuck ’em, metaphoriclly, if not physically. Sexuality has nothing to do with the goodness of a person blah blah blah.

Sorry that my “‘repressed homosexual’ means ‘heterosexual'” joke fell a bit flat. I’ll use a smiley next time… I just meant that, to that madman Freud, ‘repressed homosexuality’ was a convenient tag to explain just about any sort of ‘unusual’ behaviour – even in the most hetero of heteroes.
Mind you, I hear that Freud was a bit of a repressed homosexual himself 🙂

Hmmm, it’s all getting a bit like the little girl in the playground who keeps slapping the boy she fancies because she doesn’t know how else to get his attention. Despite the fact that yeahright (which is about the gayest idiom I’ve ever heard incidentally) and Tom have a lot of chemistry, I actually live a lot closer to Manchester and I’d love to be the person who helps him take those first tentative baby-steps out of the closet (but only if he’s good-looking – otherwise Tom can keep him).

apologies for throwing myself in here.
all i wanted to say is that i think conflict (and not only healthy conflict but ANY kind of conflict) is a basic trait of humanity, in my opinion evolved as counter-measure #1 for their fear, which (again imho) is probably the most dominant force in human life.
while we may strive for a world in which there is no need for conflict, i doubt there ever will be anything like that. it may increase and decrease periodically, given different circumstances and fashions, but it will most probably never go away.
for instance, i will always be attacked by various people for having homosexual friends. other heterosexual males will look strangely upon me and even act aggressively towards me for not fitting their view of how a heterosexual male has got to be. and so on and so forth…
please, don’t misunderstand, i do have my opinions and i stand up for them. i am not bending over in any way and i strongly dislike being abused, but to me… well, to me conflict (straight/gay, male/female, black/white, whatever it may be) is intrinsically beautiful and a major part of what living means to me.
this has absolutely nothing to with the argument going on, i have no proof for it (other than my own experience and observation)… but i wanted to write this one down.

First up, Tom’s right: it’s become more acceptable in the past few years to belittle homosexuals. It’s also become more acceptable to belittle women – whereas, when I was growing up in the 80’s, calling a woman a “bird” was a shortcut to a smack in the mouth, now it’s acceptable. I blame “lad” culture, but that’s another story.
Second, we come to our Mr yeahright. Aside from his use of classic Usenet tactics (“you’re ultimately rather boring” – and yet he keeps coming back), he’s a fine example of the kind of person who’s been taught that a “point of view” is the same as a rational argument, and that just because you “feel” something, it’s your right to express those feelings without questioning them. This psychological state (ironically rooted in liberal multiculturalism, which he’d probably profess to hate) allows him to hold contradictory views at the same time, for example, his acceptance on one hand of the psychological theory about the origins of Tom’s sexuality while claiming to have “very little respect for the medical profession when they start to comment on psychological matters”. In other words, it’s completely fine for a person with no medical or psychological training to make pronouncements about psychology, whereas someone with said training isn’t to be trusted. This is an opinion that’s rather like saying “I don’t trust those trained drivers” and banning everyone with a license from the roads.
But laying into his “opinions” for a while… “yeahright” (and yeah, Tom is right when he calls you a coward for hiding behind anonymity. There’s this thing called having the courage of your convictions, my friend…) believes that “how you understand homosexuality is not a political subject.” This is something that would have amused the framers of every law controlling homosexuality ever made. All sexuality is subject to the law, and that inherently means that all sexuality is a political subject, as politicians make the law.
Yes, yeahright, it “is entirely possible that someone has a reasonable opinion, derived from conscious thought.” Unfortunately, you have no such opinion: as you admitted your feelings about homosexuality are that it’s “weird and repellent”. And feelings are not derived from conscious thought, but from subconscious revulsion. It is “repellance”, not a reasonable opinion, because for an opinion to be reasonable is has to be reasoned, not felt. Reasonable’s root as a word is “reason”, something that you ought to get more familiar with.
You may well find buggery (there’s a difference between male and female here? why?) “weird and repellent”. Fine. You don’t have to watch. And, if you stopped reading the writings of gay men, you probably wouldn’t even have to know it existed. Express your feelings all you like. But don’t expect anyone to take them seriously as if they had the status of a rational, formal and interesting argument.
And that, I suspect, is at the core of why you keep coming back, again and again, to read the generally pretty tame ramblings of a person who doesn’t make an issue of his sexuality: you want to be taken seriously, yet somehow no one will. And that is like an itch you can’t scratch.

I’m sorry, Tom. Sincerely. While I’ve never attacked anyone because of their sexuality (in public or secret), nor ever commented on your site before, I think that needs to be said to you.

It’s nice to think we’re moving on from this, but the fact is, as long as there are stupid people in the world, we will have it. And there is no shortage of stupid people in this world, and unfortuantely they’re breeding.
By the way, my brother is an american teenager, and at least I can tell you he’s pretty cool with me being gay. Take whatever comfort you can from that.

Your blog is one of my favourite reads. Someday we’ll win, and by “we” I mean humanity. Everytime someone posts something like the inane vomit above this post humanity drops down an evolutionary notch.

To yeahright, the statement “I’m gay” seems to be equivalent to “I put my penis certain places, which I shall now procede to describe to you in depth”.
I actuality, “I’m gay” means “I’m attracted to members of the same gender” — it’s not sexually explicit at all. It’s about who people want to dance with, fall in love with, etc.

While I don’t want to give ‘yeahright’ any more attention than he deserves, as a Manchester council tax payer I’d quite like him to be exposed to Manchester City Council for using their resources to send homophobic hatred to blogs by gay people (he is quite at liberty to NOT read plastic bag if it so offends him, though he seemed to know an alarming amount about the author in his Belle de Jour post comments!). Since Manchester City Council have just been given (shared) 2nd position in Stonewall’s top 100 most gay-friendly employers, perhaps they should know what their less than gay-friendly employees are getting up to in work time.

There’s a lot of hatred here, which is interesting.
I met a lesbian recently who said to me that she found the thought of intimate contact with a man “repulsive”, and it would make her sick. I’m not bothered by that: I think she’s entitled to her feelings, any way she likes.
I like Kate’s remarks: simple, spirited, accurate and cut-the-crap observation. My “feelings” are perfectly conscious and rational, not so unusual, and suggesting they are ‘merely’ unconscious is just a strange rhetorical trick. Strange also, suggesting I am anti-liberal: I absolutely support liberal culture, which PC culture isn’t. And freedom of speech is fundamental. I agree with the BBC: if someone makes religious claims, other people are entitled to question or even satirise those claims with a Jerry Springer play.
And this feels a bit like being in an evangelical church, trying to cite historical data suggesting that JC never really existed. A bit too much overwrought subjectivity, with a martyred central figure. It’s a thread set up by Tom, I suspect, knowing it would attract buddies and allies. With a bit of a group hug thing going on….so it’s a mistake my being here. Which doesn’t actually ‘prove’ anything, incidentally.
There’s no “burden of proof” as you suggested Tom, since I have no interest in convincing you re. psychology and nor is this the kind of prove-it intellectual argument you imagine it to be. Just the simple point that the BMA is an overwhelmingly pharmacological institution, “medical” by definition, speaks volumes. If you don’t recognise or understand what that signifies in relation to their ability in psychological matters….well, I don’t have the time or inclination to go into it; it’s not some kind of provable intellectual argument, it’s more about general awareness.
And like evangelicals, some people here almost try and ‘recruit’ you to the ’cause’ using a Freudian based idea like it’s a religious commandment, suggesting there’s something you’ve repressed. Everyone knows about the Freudian phenomenon, and everyone knows there are cases of denied homosexuality. But its strangely presumptuous the way this is used, consistent with this widespread attempt to deconstruct – well, just about everything – and spew it out again in “Queer Theory” terms. Although I would absolutely agree with the child psychology subject suggested by Lubi, because I think there are developmental-narcissistic factors to this. Example? Grown men acting ‘camp’. Other men wearing little sailor hats on their web site, as some kind of homo-sexy statement. You could probably disagree with my dress sense but really, what’s going on there? I don’t mean that in a critical way, I mean it in a psychological way. You do what you like, especially at your own site. But when you start to theorise and politicise, in public, well…you can’t expect people to keep quiet.
Personally, I like women. Even quite a lot. And frankly, I now feel better for saying that. I also like Kate’s remarks, and Newfreds. I don’t like double standards, self-righteous invective, some kinds of sex acts (the idea of them), and PC, politicised, stereotypical ideologies. Oh, and not being allowed to say that. And if I say I find homo-buggery revolting, all that means is: let’s not play games here and pretend a male-male relationship is cutesy, romantic and asexual. As I understand it buggery is paramount.
And really, the trying to ‘recruit’ people thing (must be a repressed homosexual close to acknowledging it) is not only wierd, its also a little disturbing – because I’m sure it influences people, especially young people with unformed ideas about themselves. The fact is the vast majority of people are heterosexual, not interested in homosexuality, and maybe even find that kind of ‘actual’ contact unpleasant. Respecting someone’s rights to do it is a different subject. Respecting that someone disagrees with this narrow-minded “Queer Theory” polemic is also another matter. I don’t support Chelsea FC, but plenty of people do. Further, I suggest that homosexuality is not quite the happily natural/born/lifestyle choice it is fashionably construed to be. I’ve had friends to exemplify that. It wasn’t a problem between us, but in their own life they would have been happpier if they were heterosexual, felt it was just something they had to live with, and they didn’t regard it as a political or almighty self-defining trait.
Personally, I think if someone disagrees with the homosexual polemic, that does not make them “stupid”, an “idiot”, or a “fuckwit”, nor does it imply they are in denial. You may not like what other people think, but that’s another matter, as with the Jerry Springer play. And thus on this ‘recruiting people’ idea, it has implications for the Section 28 debate. Which is presumably accepted as a subject on which anyone can comment however they like, because plenty of people already have – especially where it concerns the psychology/formative matter of young people in schools. Someone else said they find this “depressing” – and yes, it is: depressing, when political reactions censor and close down the avenues of understanding, opinion, thought, and the right to express it, and reactive protests like “homophobia!” are politically enshrined within a church-like polemic.

I can’t quite believe I’m bothering to respond to this.
Let’s start with your statement that you are liberal and believe in freedom of speech. I also believe in freedom of speech. I have no problem with you expressing your opinions, but that doesn’t mean that your opinions cannot be stupid, or ill-informed, or ignorant. I’ve read just as much material on gay stuff as you have, probably a considerable amount more, and your opinions simply don’t bear much resemblence to reality. Point is most gay teenagers think they’re broken and wrong and are ashamed of their attraction towards people of the same sex. They go and read up about these issues – they’re engaged with these debates. And whatever else you might argue, the issue is simply not as simple as you make it seem. There are many incidences of same-sex pairings in other species, which suggests an biological factor – gay sexuality seems to run in families to an extent, yet twins do not always end up with the same sexual preference. There is something genetic going on, there may be something social going on, there may be something psychological going on. I’m afraid your instincts on these matters just don’t cut the mustard for me, I”m afraid. If you want to argue a case, back it up – I will listen, I’m as interested as anyone else. If you just want to be rude, then please for Christ’s sake go and do it somewhere else…
With regards to your comments about camp – well I’m not going to deny that some gay men are camp, nor that some gay men are effeminate or that some gay women are masculine. Again – it’s difficult to determine precisely why that might be the case. What’s clear is that not all gay men are camp / effeminate and not all gay women are masculine. So the causality isn’t entirely clear. They don’t always go together, there are also masculine straight women and effeminate straight men. Whether being effeminate or whatever indicates developmental-narcissistic ‘problems’ again might be a slightly dodgy argument to make unless you’re saying that feminine women are obsessively narcissistic in the same way.
Anyway – this is irrelevant – I have no problem with people wearing little hats. Up to them. I don’t personally do it. So where’s the relevance? I’m not camp, so what’s your point?
Your section on your friends not being happy – well again, I’m not particularly interested in denying that some gay people have trouble being gay or that it doesn’t make them happy and that they feel abnomal. But I’d like you – in turn – to accept the possibility that one possible reason for gay people to be unhappy or wish themselves to be straight might be because they experience abusive comments and are told that they’re ill, diseased or disgusting. I want to make it clear that I am not saying that this is the case, just that your position doesn’t even take this on board as a possibility.
With regards to what you feel about anal sex, then yet again I’m going to point you to the large numbers of straight people who have anal sex. You only have to look at e-mail spam to see that. Anal sex is not the exclusive preserve of gay people. If you think that’s equally disgusting, then rephrase your argument in terms of people who have anal sex being disgusting, rather than just men.
Lesbians – I should point out (again) do not have much in the way of anal sex. Is this disgusting to you? Or not? What is the actual thing that upsets you here? And again – I ask you – why should something being ugly to you mean that other people should not do it, even though you’re only likely to see it happening in your mind when you actively think about it!
Your last paragraph I find particularly annoying. Earlier in your comment you seem to suggest that the very concept of evidence is redundant, and yet you are arguing that gay people might be a threat to children! You must be able to see that if you want to make a statement like that, then you need evidence to say that talking about homosexuality recruits people, or that gay people are actively trying to recruit young people, or that homosexuality itself is even something that can be an influence on young people. Otherwise you’re just scaremongering! That’s not politics, that’s prejudice. Find yourself some evidence, look at the balance and weight of scientific opinion by straight people with no axe to grind, and try and convince people of your position. Otherwise, please god shut up!
And in the absence of any evidence, I’ll repeat my point here – if you don’t like what gay people do in bed, then don’t think about it. If you are a liberal individual then you must surely be able to accept that gay people doing what they feel comes naturally hurts no one and compromises none of your freedoms, apart from – perhaps – your freedom to operate in the world without there being anything in it that you might personally find ugly. Given that the world isn’t entirely built to suit your aesthetics, maybe that’s something you’re just going to have to live with.

And I’m going to say this ONE. MORE. TIME. If you have faith in your opinions, if you want to exercise your freedom of speech, if you believe what you’re saying to be true and are prepared to defend it, then put your fucking name to it.
To give you some help on this matter, so that you can see how someone who is prepared to stand up and say what he believes, even though it invites people like you to come and give me a hard time, I shall repeat – my name is Tom Coates, I live in Maida Vale in London, I am 32, I work for the BBC doing R&D work at Broadcasting House in the department Radio and Music Interactive. My website address is I am gay, I don’t care if you find that disgusting or not, and I’m brave enough to express my opinions in public rather than hiding behind a pseudonym.

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